Aurivo CEO Aaron Forde has decided to step down and will leave the business, following almost 16 years in his position, the Co. Sligo headquartered cooperative has announced.

Under Forde’s direction, Aurivo has “evolved from a largely domestic cooperative to a globally focused business with a milk supply approaching 500 million litres and sales in 50 markets internationally”, according to the north-west dairy giant.

Growth has been a key theme including domestic and overseas acquisitions.

Commenting on his decision, Forde said: “It has been a privilege to lead the Aurivo team and to foster the growth of the business during a time of great opportunity and challenge for the industry.

The last 16 years have been some of the most fulfilling of my professional life.

“To the Aurivo teams present and past, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

“Your ongoing passion and commitment will ensure we fulfil our purpose of enhancing the lives of our members, colleagues, customers and communities,” the outgoing CEO added.

“It is the correct time now for me to step down and for a new leader to take Aurivo to the next phase of growth.

“I wish all in Aurivo continued success and will follow its journey as a successful globally focused agri-business with interest,” Forde said.

I look forward to the future both professionally and personally and intend to spend more time with my family in the near term.

Commenting, Pat Duffy, chairman of Aurivo, said: “During his 16 years at Aurivo, Aaron has demonstrated that he is a strong and dynamic leader who knows our business inside and out.”

Describing Forde as a “tireless advocate for driving improvement across the business”, Dully added: “Aurivo is stronger today with his leadership.

“The board of directors would like to thank Aaron for his leadership and service to Aurivo since 2004 and wish him well in his future endeavours,” the chairman concluded.